NFL: Initial review indicates Azteca in good shape


Following the devastating 7.1-magnitude earthquake that left more than 200 people dead in Mexico this week, the NFL is evaluating whether a Nov. 19 game between the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will proceed as scheduled.

NFL executive vice president for international Mark Waller said during a conference call Wednesday that stadium officials are conducting a full review of the stadium, which is expected to be finished Thursday night.

"We have a full review going on today by the stadium," Waller said. "They've already announced the cancelling of their soccer game that was due to be played there tonight; however, the initial information from that review is that the stadium is remarkably well in good shape, and that is a testament to the construction and the safety devices that were put in place when that stadium was built 50 years ago."

Added Waller: "The initial reports are good, but our commitment to ownership is to give a full report back by tomorrow night -- Thursday night -- and that will cover the stadium, the hotel facilities that we will be using, and also the airport, which as some of you know was briefly closed yesterday but is now open and, I believe, almost fully operational."

Waller noted that the stadium was built to help withstand potential earthquakes, like the one that rocked the region this week.

"I'd also like to report that the social media chatter yesterday showing a gap in the stadium was not caused by the earthquake," Waller said of a picture circulating on social media. "The stadium was actually built with four large gaps in it to allow the stadium to move in the event of an earthquake, so that is a good example of social media gone wrong."